Honda Ridgeline is a unique pickup that employs car-like unibody construction in place of the rugged but unrefined body-on-frame setup that underpins its competitors. As a result, the Ridgeline provides a more comfortable ride and better handling than most pickups while still offering decent towing and hauling capabilities. For 2009 onward, the Ridgeline received a modest update that gave it a new look and additional features.
Unlike most pickup trucks on the market, the Ridgeline comes only in a one-size-fits-all configuration with four doors, seating for five and a five-foot-long cargo bed. A unique feature of this cargo bed is a small covered trunk inside. It can be accessed via the tailgate, which both folds down, like other pickups, but also swings to the side for easier access.
Despite its car-like unit-body construction, the Ridgeline can handle off-road duty thanks to its standard Variable Torque Management four-wheel-drive system (VTM-4) and locking rear differential.
The four wheels are driven by a 3.5-liter 250-horsepower V6 engine through a five-speed automatic transmission. The EPA rates the EPA's fuel economy at 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.
The Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 pounds or haul 1,100 pounds of cargo in its bed.
Charting the Changes
The biggest updates are up front with an all-new, Pilot-inspired grill, a reworked bumper cover and two extra sets of lights down low -- one set acting as daytime running lights, the other as fog lights.
The rear of the refreshed Ridgeline boasts a freshened set of tail lights, a new lower bumper that now flows into the fender flares and a backup camera lens next to the handle on the tailgate.
Trim Level Breakdown
Four trim levels are offered on the Ridgeline: base RT, Sport, RTS and top-of-the-line RTL.
Standard features on the Ridgeline RT include an integrated trailer hitch, pre-wiring for 7-pin trailer wiring, trip computer with instaneous and average fuel economy; air conditioning; tilt steering wheel; power windows and door locks; power sliding rear window; cruise control; keyless entry; automatic heated wiper zone; a six-speaker, 100-watt audio system with CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability; and 60/40 split lift-up rear seat with underseat storage.
The stygian-themed Sport brings black 18-inch aluminum wheels, a black honeycomb grille, black headlights and taillights, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and an AUX input jack.
The Ridgeline RTS adds to the RT's features with alloy wheels; a 7-pin trailer wiring connector; body-color painted door handles; painted inner grille surfaces; a seven-speaker 160-watt audio system with subwoofer and six-disc in-dash audio system; steering wheel-mounted controls; an auxiliary audio input jack; dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support; privacy glass; and all-weather floor mats.
The RTL adds a leather-trimmed interior with heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels; fog lights, moonroof, a 110-volt power outlet, XM Satellite Radio, HomeLink remote system, carpeted floor mats, and a compass in the rearview mirror. A Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition is available (and replaces the rear-view mirror interior compass). Vehicles equipped with the navigation system also include Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and a multi-information display.
Every Ridgeline model comes equipped with dual front, side and side curtain airbags along with traction and stability control systems, electronic brakeforce distribution and a tire pressure monitoring system.
As a car-based pickup, the Ridgeline has no direct competitors. V6-powered variants of full-size, body-on-frame trucks like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Tundra can be had for the same price as the Ridgeline, however.